What is Business Process Outsourcing and How Does It Work

What is Business Process Outsourcing and How Does It Work

What is Business Process Outsourcing and How Does It Work

 

Three fairly common words of the English language come together to form a term that has added enormous value to a wide variety of industries and businesses around the world and continues to do so, evolving and mutating to keep pace with changing times, technologies and expectations. The term being referred to is: Business Process Outsourcing.

Another term that has gained currency in the last few years is BPM, which stands for Business Process Management. BPM is considered by some as being a wider term that encompasses managing a process in the most effective way, whether outsourced or not.

 

Business processes outsourcing: wide range of services

We know that supermarket stocks essentials items for customers to buy for their daily needs, and on a day-to-day basis, it ensures that its racks are stacked, shelves labelled correctly, inventories evaluated and orders placed.

We know that a restaurant provides a predictable environment for patrons to dine in, and on a day-to-day basis, makes sure there is adequate raw material, the place is clean, and food and drinks prepared as per customer requirements, and served.

We know that a bank takes deposits, grants loans, transfers money, provides financial advice and responds to customer queries on a day-to-day basis.

We know an insurance company assesses event risk, issues policies, collects premium payments and adjudicates on claims made by policyholders, on a day-to-day basis.

How about a BPO? What does it do on a day-to-day basis?

The amazing thing is that it could be doing any, or all, of the business processes listed above, and many more.

For a telecommunications business, it could be doing provisioning of new orders. For a hospital, it could be doing transcription of oral medical prescriptions. For a bank, it could be attempting to collect overdue loan payments from defaulting customers. For an insurance company, it could be doing adjudication of amounts payable on customer claims. For a car manufacturer, it could be handling customer service calls.

Unbelievable, but true.

Business Processes Outsourcing is a fast-moving, flexible, business, populated by a versatile group of human resources, that is adept at taking the shape of any business or service that it chooses to work for and adding value to the host or client business by doing it more efficiently and effectively.

 

Adding value to other businesses

Sporadic voices have occasionally been raised against the industry, especially where the work is done in another country, on flimsy grounds like ‘taking away jobs.’

We know that outsourcing is a reality in today’s connected world. We don’t grow the food we eat. Others grow it because they can do it better, and we buy it and feed ourselves. A supermarket does not manufacture the cash registers it uses at the checkout counter. It buys them from another company that has the knowledge and skills to do it better. The supermarket buys them and uses them, while keeping focus on their own business. These are examples of outsourcing, which can also be viewed as mutual dependence. Doing the core work ourselves and relying on others where they can do it better than us.

Business processes outsourcing is no different.

Like any business operating under the framework of a free market, it continuously tries to maximise its profits and shareholder value, by taking on processing activities which can be better performed by them. This could be for a variety of reasons like bulk volume, better tools and technology or greater experience. By doing certain processes more efficiently and effectively than another business can, they add value to other businesses.

 

Types of BPO

While they could, theoretically, do anything, as we have just seen, each company chooses the areas in which it would like to operate. It is a competitive world, after all. There are many other organisations that are similar, each trying to outdo the other in providing better value to its clients, winning more business, and earning greater profits for their owners and shareholders.

Knowing what you are good at by typifying your organization within certain boundaries could be beneficial in representing your organization in a sharper and clearer profile to the external world. It will also enable you to focus on business that answers to your areas of strength, instead of running after each new contract that comes up for bidding.

From the perspective of clients as well, it would be difficult to begin their search for a supplier with, say, a million BPO companies in the world, assuming all offer the full menu. It will become an endless evaluation exercise for outsourcing. If the client is a telco and wishes to outsource line order provisioning, it might be a more efficient process for them to limit their evaluation to companies that project themselves as specialists in that area or industry.

There are many ways for Business Process Outsourcing companies to identify themselves. Here are some common parameters around which this is done:

Nature of work done

BPOs can be classified on the basis of the nature of work handled by them.

If the work done by them is only or primarily in the area of providing customer servicing, like answering billing queries for a telco, they could classify themselves as specialists in providing customer service.

If the work done by them is only or primarily in the area of providing technical support to customers for resolving their hardware and software issues, they could classify themselves as specialists in providing technical support.

If the work done by them is only or primarily in the area of doing payroll processing for clients, they could classify themselves as specialists in payroll processing.

This list is not finite. The specialisation could be in HRO (Human Resources Outsourcing), or LPO (Legal Process Outsourcing), or Medical transcription, or Advertising copywriting, or E-publishing, or anything else.

oWorkers provides best-in-class services for data entry, annotation and content moderation services.

Channel of service

Channels through which services are delivered is another common classification.

If the outsourced work is being done only or primarily through Voice, it could be classified as a Voice specialist. A BPO specializing in Voice is also commonly referred to as a Contact Centre or Call Centre.

Voice services could be further broken down into Inbound Voice Services and Outbound Voice Services.

If the work is being done primarily on Email, it could be classified as an Email specialist.

If the work is primarily backoffice processing, it could be classified as a backoffice BPO.

oWorkers, in the eight years of its existence, has focused its efforts on backoffice data related work as its core and continued to build expertise in it. Within backoffice, we offer data entry, data moderation and annotation services.

Industries supported

This is a fairly obvious classification, based on the type of industry for which work is done.

If the work being done is only or mainly for Pharmaceutical companies, it could be considered as a Pharma specialist.

If all or most of the work being done is for companies that offer Insurance, it could be considered as an Insurance specialist.

If the work being done is primarily for a Telecom business, it could be a Telecom-specific supplier.

There could be as many types of service-providers as industries using outsourced business process services.

This type of classification can also be called classification based on Verticals.

Services of oWorkers are offered to a wide spectrum of companies across industries including several global unicorn marketplaces. In addition, 85% of our clients are technology companies. 

Location

While business processes outsourcing may have started as local initiatives, with processing work being done in less expensive parts of the same town, with the explosion of communications and internet technology, it has rapidly expanded around the world. Today, work could be outsourced from anywhere to anywhere in the world; in other words, for many outsourced processes, the location of the outsourcer and service provider do not have much relevance; either could be anywhere in the world.

Each individual and organization, however, is subject to the legal framework of the country they operate out of. If the client and supplier are in two different countries, there is a possibility that applicable laws could differ.

A BPO could be classified on the basis of nationality of its clients being the same country or a different one. If the work being done is for a client in the same country, we could call it domestic work and if it mainly, or only does domestic work, it could be called a domestic services provider.

If the work being done is for a different country, we could classify it as ‘international’ which would also create a related classification of ‘export’ as the revenues from the business arise overseas and are remitted to the country of the vendor for work done. These qualify as export revenues which are important for many developing nations and often attract government incentives. Another term used for ‘international’ is ‘offshore’ which signifies that the origin of the work is from outside the ‘shores’ of the country.

A domestic BPO is also often called an onshore supplier to signify that origination of the work is from within the ‘shores’ (boundaries) of the country where it is being serviced from.

With three centers in three geographies recognized as key locations of the industry, oWorkers would be considered to be primarily an export services vendor as most of its clients are located in geographies other than where they do the work from.

Demographics

The industry is recognized for its ability to create jobs in communities that face challenges of development. As a result, it often gets support from governments for setting up centers in such underserved locations.

Thus, delivery units could be identified on the basis of the development index of the town or city they are based in. This is especially true for large delivery provider nations like India, which could have significant variations between locations. It might be possible to classify locations within India as Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 locations where Tier 1 is the most developed, has access to quality resources and infrastructure and likely to be the most expensive for clients, as a result.

Another method of classification used is urban and rural, where a rural center is likely to be eligible for government benefits in return for contribution to the employment effort in that location.

The two scales can also be combined, with rural sitting somewhere after Tier 3.

oWorkers straddles the development index with its centers in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and Cairo, Egypt which could be considered as Tier 1 centers with reliable infrastructure and availability of well-educated resources, and Antananarivo in Madagascar which requires greater effort in training for resources as well as investments in infrastructure like backup power generation capacity.

Distance from source

This is where some popular terms like nearshore and farshore fit in.

If the work is being done in another country, the term used to define it is offshore.

If the work is being done in another country, but in a location that is somewhat contiguous, it could be referred to as being nearshore.

If the work is being done in another country, in a distant location, it could be referred to as farshore.

If the work is being done in the same country, it is referred to as sameshore. This is also referred to as onshore.

The above notwithstanding, it is not merely distance that determines this classification, else it would be in terms of miles or kilometres between the source and delivery units.

A delivery unit located in San Antonio in Texas for a business located in New York is a greater distance than a delivery unit based in Krakow, Poland, for a business located in Frankfurt, Germany. However, as it is in the same country, we would call it ‘sameshore’ whereas Krakow, in relation to Frankfurt, would be called ‘nearshore’.

oWorkers provides business process outsourcing services to its clients in the US and nearshore services to its clients in Westerm Europe.

Ownership

Ownership of the delivery unit is another method of classification.

It is a binary classification where the delivery unit, if owned by the company seeking the service, but identified as an independent unit for the purpose of specialization, differentiating the working terms and conditions and clear responsibility identification, is known as a captive. A term that has gained acceptance more recently for the same provider set is that of Global Inhouse Center (GIC).

On the other hand, if the company seeking the service is not the owner, it is known as a third-party vendor.

oWorkers is a third-party vendor of data related services to clients around the globe in over 22 languages.

 

Choosing a partner for business process outsourcing

oWorkers has consistently delivered accuracy in excess of 99% despite the difference in measurement scales across clients in over eight years of increasingly complex engagements across data entry, content moderation and annotation projects. Its delivery efforts are watched over by an independent Internal Quality team that reports directly to senior management.

Having a leadership team that has over 20 years hands-on experience in the business and a sound financial position gives oWorkers the ability to invest in the business. It is able to leverage the latest technologies with its partnerships across different partners and enable clients to benefit from them.

Operating from the Eurozone, GDPR compliance is a necessity. In addition, oWorkers is ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certified.

Our relationship with local communities rewards us with a steady stream of interested applicants that keeps our hiring costs as well as attrition low. It also enables us to cater to peaks of upto 100 resources in 48 hours. We are Covid-19 ready and our employees are able to seamlessly operate from home when required.

oWorkers has been ranked amongst the top 3 data entry companies in the world. Our pricing is transparent and we can offer clients a choice of per unit of time pricing or per unit of output pricing. Several clients have reported savings of upto 80%.

oWorkers operates locally registered entities in all its delivery locations. It pays local taxes as well as social taxes for its employees. The work you outsource to us enables us to hire a few more disadvantaged people and help them become a part of the global digital workforce. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing Your Data Entry

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing Your Data Entry

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing Your Data Entry

Businesses are constantly striving to outshine competitors in the race for more customers and revenues. Their efforts result in generation of data all the time. With the help of technology, businesses then make efforts to draw meaning from this data in pursuit of their business goals.

Some of the data generated is in a format or media that can be directly accessed by technologies used by the business. Visitors at an industry event might be requested to key in their contact information on a simple interface at the booth. A job applicant may be requested to apply directly on the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) of the recruiting company.  

In many cases data is not in a compatible format or not on a media that can interface with the technology. This creates the need for data entry so that the data that is generated becomes usable. If the visitor to your booth at the event drops a name card, it would need to be manually added to the database your business maintains of client leads. If the job applicant emails her Resume to you, it would need to be taken apart and keyed into the ATS or any other system used by the company to manage jobs and applications.

Data entry, thus, is a critical function that powers the digitization of information so that it becomes a part of the digital world and can be sliced and diced as per needs of the owning business.

Data entry is not for a finite list of activities. You may need to do data entry for Guest comment cards, Survey results, Ecommerce product description, Insurance claim, School admission application, Conference transcription, Invoices, Restaurant menu, Job application, Client name card…it can go on.

And for any business or industry.

The requirements and rhythm of data entry often being different from the business for which it needs to be done, outsourcing of data entry is the accepted norm, to BPO companies specializing in the task.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your data entry?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing – Advantages

Permits focus on core business

An evaluation of the pros and cons of outsourcing needs to recognize that hundreds and thousands and millions of people and organizations are engaged in a wide variety of endeavours to make a difference in the world and enable them to lead a respectable and comfortable life. They could be making watches, stitching clothes, publishing books, growing food, or many other things. They build expertise in the area of work that enables them to stand out. While there are many other functions that may be required for running an organization that will contribute to the business, some of them take time and often require their own expertise, like accounting. There is an opportunity cost to every minute that an expert spends away from the core business, hence, where feasible, businesses look to outsource such activities so that they stay true to their business and expertise.

Data entry is one such task that, if outsourced, enables the business and its employees to stay focused on their core activities and ensure they are done successfully. By doing data entry, the experts would be doing a task they are not very good at, and ignoring the work that they are good at. So, it is a double whammy. By outsourcing, they create conditions for that work to be done in a more efficient manner, while ensuring their own business does not suffer.

oWorkers has been rated as one of the three top data entry providers in the world and has executed work for over a hundred clients in the short period of eight years of their existence.

Enables cost savings

Data entry often being a rules-based activity, does not require advanced educational degrees or experience to perform needs to be understood while analyzing pros and cons of outsourcing. As a direct result, operators for doing data-entry work can be hired at a reasonable cost which is often lower than the business specialists and professionals that the company employs for doing its core work. These higher paid staff are not equipped to do the work any better than the comparatively lower cost resources. In fact, they may be worse off doing data entry as they do not have any training or experience in it. And no interest too. Hence, by outsourcing, the same work can be completed at a lower cost, even if we ignore the savings in terms of time.

oWorkers operates from some of the most highly rated locations for outsourcing in the world. Our clients report savings of up to 80% when they outsource to us. Our operational efficiencies enable us to save costs which we are able to share with our clients.

Creates operational efficiency

We have seen that people who specialize in a task or activity will make efforts to develop expertise in it which leads to efficiency, and that is a factor in understanding the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing. Though data entry, it is believed, does not have any specific requirements of knowledge or skills to execute well, aptitude and attitude perhaps being the more important requirements, operators engaged in it, as they gain experience, also develop expertise. Employment for data entry roles typically being from sections without advanced educational degrees, realizing that their employment options are limited, also make an effort to develop expertise to advance their prospects. This impacts the outsourced operation beneficially by making it more efficient; more can be done in a shorter period of time, with greater quality.

Data entry being a part of its chosen area of specialization, oWorkers delivers over 99% accuracy on client projects across a wide cross-section of measurement systems. With our expertise, in many cases, clients have chosen to initiate and implement a new data-entry process directly with us, instead of first implementing inhouse and then transitioning out.

Releases benefits of scale

Outsourcing pros and cons recognize that doing the same, or similar, work for a number of clients provides vendors the benefits of scale that can be shared with clients. Being known as the provider of a certain type of work can act as a ‘lead magnet’ with prospective clients viewing the vendor as an expert or leader in the space and approaching it for giving more business.

Scale tends to lower the cost of processing at a unit level. This is because the Fixed Costs of the organization are now spread over a larger number of transactions, lowering the share borne by each.

The existence of scale creates opportunities for investment in technology. Ten clients each with limited quantities of data entry work may not be able to justify investment in technology that a provider doing outsourced work for all ten of them, with the aggregated volume, can. This creates further efficiencies in the process, with all stakeholders benefiting.

oWorkers, with its transparent pricing model, is able to share the benefits of scale with its clients. It also leverages developments in technology through its partnerships with a number of technology providers, with the benefit shared with clients by deploying relevant technologies for their work.

Gives access to resources globally

Evaluation of the pros and cons of outsourcing cannot be completed without a discussion on resourcing.

It is said that water flows from high ground to low ground. This is what outsourcing of data entry does in business.

The typical direction of data entry outsourcing is from a relatively more prosperous society to a relatively less prosperous one. The relatively less prosperous society is at that stage in development as it has lesser opportunities and greater unemployment. For data entry work, there is far greater availability of a willing and able workforce than would be the case at the point of origination of that work.

Not only does a larger workforce become available, it releases the business from the shackles of the local labor market forever. Once outsourcing is decided upon, any labor market anywhere in the world could be leveraged, of course while keeping many other factors in mind, for this work.

As a side benefit, which is more of political relevance than business, data entry outsourcing creates employment opportunities in many places, which is why often governments provide incentives and support for setting up centers for such work.

As a locally registered company in all its locations, oWorkers is an active, contributing member of local communities. It is a preferred employer for the workforce in its catchment areas, and regularly receives unsolicited applications that reduces its hiring costs as well as attrition numbers. It also enables oWorkers to hire short-term resources to manage peaks, to the tune of almost 100 resources in 48 hours.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing – Disadvantages

Processor boredom and burnout could impact quality

An effort that often leads to outsourcing is the breaking down of work into small, defined processes that can be trained easily as well as measured and monitored, and this is a key element in any review of the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing. While great for the business, it is not so great for the people doing the work. Whether academically qualified or not, all humans are intelligent, thinking creatures. They crave variety and challenge and new experiences. Doing the same limited process repetitively without any scope for thinking or creativity can lead to burnout for the operators involved. This can result in switching off from work, boredom, looking for other opportunities, all resulting in the quality of work suffering.

This is one of the reasons management of people in a BPO is seen as such a critical role. The employing organisation needs to constantly monitor the output as well as the state of mind of their staff so that the work does not suffer and they are able to support their staff with their issues before it is too late.

The performance of each individual is monitored by oWorkers. Our independent Internal Quality team monitors performance at a transaction level and supports agents through coaching and feedback sessions where required. Our location in the Eurozone makes it a requirement for us to have fair and transparent employment practices. We work with employees, not freelancers, and actively support their career progression, including job rotation.

Risk to Intellectual Property could impact business

Interpretation of rules can be different between the client location and the outsourcer location and administration, and should be accounted for in an evaluation of outsourcing pros and cons. Focus can also be different, with a lower emphasis being placed on intellectual property (IP) by locations lower on the developmental index, where some of the outsourcers are located, as a result of cost and labor pool advantages.

A threat for the intellectual property owned by the client that is shared with the vendor engaged, is a real risk under the circumstances. IP being violated or versions of processes and products being available soon after, are not unheard of.

In addition to GDPR compliance, oWorkers is also ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certified and operates with facilities & protocols that are secure. We also ask that each member of our staff sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before access to client data is provided.

Labor malpractices could tarnish the brand

An assessment of outsourcing pros and cons cannot be complete without understanding that there are many contributors to outsourcers being able to provide low-cost solutions. One of them is labor practices, or rather, the lack of them. In an environment where job opportunities are fewer and monitoring lax, it is easy to get carried away and try to squeeze the maximum out of the money being spent on resources. Such malpractices, like child labor, could get associated with the client’s brand and cause much greater harm than the money being saved or efficiency created. Justifying it by saying that it is the vendor’s issue might not be of much help in such a situation.

oWorkers is committed to the career progression of its staff, having adopted the model of working with employed resources as opposed to freelancers. It offers a fair and transparent work environment drawn from best practices around the world. Our staff are also free to choose to work from home as long as the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic looms. Our physical presence in the Eurozone ensures the highest standards of people practices.

Cultural differences could impact on accuracy

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” argued Juliet in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Of course, she may not have needed to analyse the pros and cons of outsourcing.

In business, however, the issue could be more complex. If an operator working for a vendor in India and doing data entry for a men’s clothing e-commerce store, were to label an upper garment as ‘kurta’ as per his knowledge of a corresponding local wear, instead of the ‘shirt’ it is known as in the client’s parlance, potential customers looking for a ‘shirt’ will never be able to find it.

Culture and practice keeps changing as we move from one place to another. The greater the distance, the greater the variance. For delivery centers located far from the originating center, cultural issues could cause errors to creep into the output. Language might be different.

oWorkers, with a center in Europe, which is within three hours of flying tome away from any major city in Europe, is culturally aligned to support customer business for Western European clients. In addition, our chosen areas of specialization that focus on data related work, mostly involve interaction with client staffers and not customers.

Hidden costs might impact viability

While the business case looks promising, any analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing needs to know that there are hidden costs that could tilt the balance. Grid-supplied power supply may be erratic requiring investment in private generating capacity. Travel costs could increase as there will be a likelihood of outsourcer staff needing to travel to the delivery destination to ensure processes are followed and issues resolved. Local events like political unrest and demonstrations could jeopardize business continuity resulting in down time.

oWorkers provides transparent pricing to clients including a choice between rate per unit of output and rate per unit of capacity. Once a price is agreed, all additional costs are borne by oWorkers. We make arrangements to augment resources like power supply in centers where grid supply could be erratic. All costs are factored in when we quote a price so that there are no surprises for clients.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing – In Conclusion

While there are clear benefits that data entry outsourcing delivers to a business, it comes with its own set of limitations which should not be disregarded in an assessment of outsourcing pros and cons, and need to be managed. Successfully managing the downsides while taking advantage of the benefits results in creating value for the business.

10 Steps to Outsource Text Moderation

Copy of 10 Steps to Outsource Text Moderation

10 Steps to Outsource Text Moderation

 

It can take years for a business to build a reputation. To destroy it, a moment may be sufficient.

This might be the biggest driver for moderation services.

In today’s online world, many businesses make efforts to build thriving online communities with their business and products at the center of it; communities where there is an ongoing conversation, either with the business or amongst the users themselves. Not only does this provide insights to the business about user behavior, it also creates a huge amount of user generated content (UGC) that, not having been created by the business, has great value as a source of authentic information for visitors.

Online interaction is often seen as the best way for a business to understand its customers and their needs as it is in a ‘natural’ setting without any pressure to cook up the inputs, as might happen when you conduct a survey. It can be used to improve your product, your strategy or even decide to kill off an offering that is not making sense.

Of course, UGC can be created in many formats, video, audio, image and text being the most common and well understood.

While most UGC is genuine and of acceptable standards, some of it can be malicious and hurt sensibilities. To protect its image from being sullied because of such content, moderation is required.

This article will focus on text moderation, which could be defined as the process of monitoring and blocking or amending content submissions that either violate the policies of the site on which they have been submitted, or of civic society in general.

 

Who Needs Text Moderation Solutions

If you have a web presence which is open for public participation, the sanctity of content on your website is subject to the vagaries of the people who visit it and their moods. While most content that gets created is genuine and sane, one can never rule out the possibility of a person creating content on your website which either violates the policies you have defined for your website or, in a more general sense, is not within the general rules of civil society, and hence, not acceptable.

This requirement is not limited to a certain kind of business or industry. Whether you are a car manufacturer or an education portal or an e-commerce platform or a matchmaking portal or a news platform or a furniture maker, if you permit open interaction on a web property owned by you, text moderation will be needed by you.

 

The Case for Text Moderation Services

There could be abusive language. Or hate speech. Or insult to symbols and beliefs held in high regard by some. Or a challenge to the rule of law. There could be many other issues of a bilateral nature which are surfaced on such sites, but, in the context of the possibly national and global scale issues, are perhaps of lower significance.

Where could these be posted?

Once again, anywhere. There are many different channels for communication that exist in the online world. There are reviews of many kinds, book reviews, film reviews, art reviews and product reviews, like on ecommerce websites, to name a few. Anyone can access these spaces and post a review. There are comments that can be placed on articles and posts in cyberspace and on news items published by established media houses. Thriving online communities are a part of many businesses, like technology platforms. For a consumer business, it is difficult to directly respond to each and every query being raised by individual customers, as there could be millions. Many businesses and SAS platforms are particularly good at this, creating communities where questions raised by some members could be responded by others. Some of them even have a system of rewards for members who are the most active in providing accurate and fast responses. Then there are forums (or fora), profiles, and the ubiquitous social media presence. Content that may need to be moderated could be on any of these.

Moderation will, to a large extent, keep you safe from exposure to issues like trademark violations, PR scandals, brand image compromise and even legal tangles.

 

Outsource Text Moderation or Keep Inhouse?

The need being established, a natural question to emerge at this stage is whether to outsource the activity or create the skills to do it inhouse.

While each business still needs to make the choice, going by the choices made by many, at this stage it does appear that the outsourcing content moderation option seems to be an overwhelming favorite. The reasons could be many:

Text moderation services are applicable in a fairly uniform manner to most platforms, overlayed with specific website moderation rules that your business might develop, which are also fairly similar to rules created by others. Hence, there is no uniqueness for which a skillset needs to be created.

Moderation is not a core competence or skill of your employees. Their skill most likely pertains to your business. If they do moderation, they will probably be incompetent and uninterested moderators.

Moreover, your business activities will suffer as your staff is engaged in other work. And your primary work, since it is your core competence, cannot be done in a better way by a partner through outsourcing. It needs to be done by you.

Thus, at this point of time, to outsource text moderation is the preferred option.

 

The 10 Steps to Outsource Text Moderation

Having been done thousands of times, the process of outsourcing is well established, and perfected by vendors who take on text moderation solutions work of clients. Of course, improvements are always possible and also, there could be multiple ways of reaching the common goal of a smoothly operating shop run by a partner.

A recommended sequence of activities is shared here:

1. Define the process, identify part to be outsourced

In order to produce the product or service which eventually is sold to a client, businesses run a series of processes, the output of one being the input of the next.

Though it has been decided to outsource text moderation, at this stage, the business needs to ignore whether it is outsourced or not, and update its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to reflect the addition of text moderation as a part of the overall process, and defining the inputs into and outputs out of it. This also ensures the people involved understand that it is an integral part of their business and not a random activity being done for them by a partner as and when it is outsourced.

2. Forge consensus on approach

It is important to get everyone in the organisation ‘on the same page.’ This can be done through open sharing of information about the proposed outsourcing, inviting feedback and criticism, and giving all concerned a chance to be heard.

Documentation also helps achieve clarity and consensus, hence, reasons for outsourcing should be documented along with the benefits analysis.

This phase should result in consensus on the decision to outsource text moderation.

Effort should also be made to identify the project lead for the planned outsourcing, if not the entire project team.

3. Create the outsourcing blueprint

Some outsourcing deals run into heavy weather because one of the parties, typically the buyer, or outsourcer, has not put adequate thought into it. The greater the clarity in terms of requirement and expectation, the greater the chance of success. Now that the project lead has been identified, this would be the right time to flesh out the details to the next level. This detailing will also help in setting the right expectations with potential vendors interested in the contract. A recommended checklist of items that this phase should cover:

  • Objective of outsourcing
  • Details of the process
  • Types of for and web properties to be moderated
  • Consumer profile
  • Defining rules
  • Domain knowledge requirement
  • Quality standards
  • Timelines
  • Volume

 

4. Establish criteria

Though this could be considered a part of the previous step, as a key step in eventually selecting a partner, it has been carved out separately.

A recommended list of capabilities and attributes to look for in a partner:

Experience of doing similar work – Helps in getting off to a flying start and enables a view of what it will look like when you outsource.

oWorkers has successfully executed several text moderation projects for global clients. With our 24×7 operations, we are up and running to cover anyone, anywhere, posting on your web properties, so that you can sleep soundly.

Quality and accuracy – Familiarity with the type of work brings value only if executed to the required accuracy levels. Quality level offered by the vendor will be of importance in any outsourcing not just when you outsource text moderation. Existing client testimonials validating quality levels will always be of value.

Consistently providing accuracy levels above 99%, oWorkers has a global client list, many of them referenceable.

Processing Speed – While quicker turnarounds are of value to business in general, for text moderation services the importance is immense, as many businesses have a process of pre-moderation; reviewing the content before permitting publication. Customers, on the other hand, want to see their contribution become visible quickly.

With three global centers, 24×7 operation, and the flexibility to work from home, oWorkers provides unmatched response times, with SLAs of response under a minute also possible.

Pricing – A necessary part of a contract. Clearly, low is good, but since it is a B2B arrangement, where it is a customised basket of services being contracted, the focus should be on value and not merely the lowest price.

Clients of oWorkers advise save 80% in comparison with their pre-outsourcing cost. Our pricing is transparent, with a choice of per hour or per output unit pricing.

Multilingual capability – Instead of contracting multiple vendors for the same service in different languages, a vendor’s multilingual capability in text moderation solutions can allow the client to focus their efforts on a single outsourced engagement. Again, an important consideration since texts can be created in any language.

Supporting over 22 major languages across three global centers, oWorkers is uniquely positioned to support you, regardless of where your consumers are and what language they post in.

Current Technology – There could be an avalanche of activity on a website from time to time. Some websites could be ones where there is heavy footfall all the time. Human intervention being expensive and slow, automated, AI driven solutions, are becoming a necessity for handling text moderation services.

With its partnerships with leading technology solutions providers, oWorkers makes available to you the best technologies for your requirements.

Data Security – Joined at the hip with technology is data security. The digital data being generated for a client needs to be maintained and transacted securely.

Being ISO (27001 and 9001) certified, oWorkers implements the latest in security practices and protocols for ensuring security of client data, in transmission as well as in storage and while being worked on.

Scalability – Being a human activity, a regular supply of jobseekers is as important as the ability to expand the hiring number for a short period of time to cater to a sudden spike in client business volumes.

oWorkers data outsourcing services ramping up and down by a hundred headcount in 48 hours. This is made possible by our deep connects with the communities we operate in.

Financial health – A stressed financial situation often leads to suboptimal decision-making and hesitation in making investments in business, eventually impacting on client projects. It is important to ensure that the company to whom you seek to outsource text moderation to, is in reasonably healthy financial condition. Further, it is recommended that this be validated once a year.

oWorkers has been a consistently profitable enterprise. It is registered as a local enterprise in each of its geographies and pays local and social taxes for its employees

Training facility – Required to ensure rapid upskilling of new hires to join the process and contribute to the work being done, for text moderation solutions training acquires an added importance of having to refresh the skills of its workforce as the practices and tools in the environment may keep changing.

oWorkers relies on independent training facilities attached to each of its three facilities to train new hires and keep the knowledge of existing staff fresh by conducting refresher sessions.

5. Seek participation from interested parties

Having lined up your ‘ducks in a row’ with the outsourcing blueprint being prepared and selection criteria being established, all that remains is for competent providers to ‘come to the party.’ Which, of course, is easier said than done. For that to happen, the word needs to be spread in the right communities and through the right channels.

In many cases, it eventually boils down to one of the following channels to communicate the message:

  • A Request for Proposal (RFP) is issued. This is generally preferred by large enterprises. An RFP is a standardised proposal form where you specify the information you seek.
  • Direct outreach to providers who you know provide similar services to competitors.
  • Advertising in trade circles, if you are a part of them.
  • Direct contact through databases like Yellow Pages and web search. They will respond if interested.

 

6. Review and Shortlist

If the communication has been done effectively, you should have received interest from vendors.

Assuming you have received interest from may parties, this stage involves sifting through the applications and identifying the few with whom you would like to go into more detailed discussions. Unfortunately, as time is at a premium, it is advisable to not do that with all applicants. A B2B partnership needs to be carefully navigated and negotiated, hence it is recommended that you go into greater detail with a few rather than less detail with many.

Of course, if you don’t have responses, you would need to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out the reasons. Were your requirements not clear? Were your terms too stringent? You may need to do one more round of interest solicitation, delaying the process.

7. Detailed discussion with a few

This is where the detailed discussions will happen and both parties will be required to share information. In most B2B cases, this will be preceded by the execution of a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which binds both parties to treating the information received as confidential and enjoins them to ensure it is handled with the utmost care. This is the stage where the potential vendor will make a case for being selected, scope of services will be discussed, including indicative pricing. This is one of the key phases of the process. This is where detailed discussions, site visits, interacting with staff members, exploring combinations, negotiating on price and service levels, all take place.

8. Shortlist down to 1

Eventually you will decide on the most suitable partner and issue a Letter of Intent. Contractual terms, which would have been already discussed during the previous stage, would now be formalised. The other shortlisted vendors will be retained as backups if this partnership falls through for some reason.

The formal agreement is executed based on mutually acceptable terms and conditions.

9. Implementation and Transition

Implementation of the Project Plan, that would have been agreed during the commercial negotiations, is now kicked off, leading to the eventual transition and stabilization of the process with the vendor.

Initiation of a Trial Run, if agreed upon, will happen at this stage, with success criteria and actions following achievement or non-achievement, clearly defined.

All other dependencies, like identification by the vendor of the team that will support activities under this contract, outsourcer arranging the initial training, technical handshakes required, hiring of staff, finding the physical space for the new team, will be handled as per the Project Plan.

10. Begin work, test and then go full steam

Work begins. If volumes are large, there is a ramp-up generally provided for in the Project Plan. Staring slowly, the work gradually ramps up to handle the agreed volumes.

Note: This is an indicative sequence of steps and not mandatory. Not all steps will be needed in all cases. In some cases, the sequence could also change, like a Trial Run could happen before a contract is signed.

 

In Conclusion

Keep your business safe from abuse by seeking the right partner for your text moderation.

Identified as one of the three best data services providers in the world, oWorkers should be part of your evaluation exercise for a suitable partner. We are the preferred partner for many businesses around the world. We hope we will be yours too.

10 Steps to Outsource Online Media Moderation

Copy of 10 steps to outsource online media moderation

10 Steps to Outsource Online Media Moderation

 

What is online media?

In simple terms, we could say it is the communication and exchange of information and ideas through the Internet or the World Wide Web.

What is online media moderation?

As a logical extension, online media moderation could be the name given to an activity that filters the content being exchanged through the Internet in order that it adheres to the general code of conduct of civil society, in addition to defined laws of course.

Online media moderation services – why are they needed?

It takes all sorts to make the world. The anonymity one sometimes feels when one is online, can act as an encouragement for misdemeanours. Some may feel compelled to post content like violence or porn that may be harmful for impressionable sections of Internet users like children. Some may use the Internet to spread messages of hate and incite one group against another. Yet others may engage in annoying acts of self-promotion and spamming. The list is long. Even though this might be only a small percentage of content shared on the World Wide Web, it has enough potential to cause damage which is why moderation has become a requirement.

Who needs online media moderation solutions?

Anybody who uses online media and relies on it for one reason or another and has created spaces in the online world where such exchange of ideas, information and media can take place in an open manner; in other words, any visitor could access the space and leave an imprint.

In real terms, it is organisations and businesses who use the online world in this manner, by creating open spaces where anybody could drop in and leave an impression; good, bad or ugly. They do this for promotion of their organisation’s objectives and for creating thriving online communities with their products/ services/ business/ organisation at the center of it. Hence, this discussion will be limited to the spaces created by organisations and businesses.

Who should moderate?

To make it simpler, this question is asked from the perspective of a business or an organisation that might even be a not-for-profit.

The main choices are:

  1. Build the skills to do it inhouse
  2. Outsource online media moderation to a provider who has the skills to be able to do it for you

Though today it seems like a given for an organisation to be reliant on online media for furthering their objectives, this channel is only about a couple of decades old. Online media moderation might be almost as old as the use of online media.

Over the course of this period, online media moderation services have become established as an independent business in their own right. While it may have been a debate in the early stages, today it is well accepted and established that online media moderation is best done with the enlistment of a partner who specializes in the service instead of creating a new skill-set within the organisation.

That being the case, the selection of the provider becomes a key question for the organisation. As each organisation is different, you need to be cognisant of the fact that the process being outsourced is a part of your business, and probably has linkages in and out from and to other processes which are known by you and not the vendor. Eventually, you define the success and failure criteria for the process.

In short, the ownership for the outsourcing of your online media moderation solutions work needs to be with you and your organisation.

The process of selection of a partner will be discussed in the ensuing paragraphs.

1. Carve out the section (or process) for outsourcing

It is probably a repetition, but whether you outsource online media moderation or not, it is a part of your organisation and its sequence of processes. If not done well, some other part of your organisation will be impacted.

Hence the need to define it as a part of your integrated chain of activities where instead of the ownership for that part belonging to an internal team or set of employees, it is the vendor who is given that responsibility. Of course, there will be a set of people or a team who will still be responsible for monitoring the vendor’s performance.

At this stage, update your Manuals and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to reflect the addition of online media moderation as a part of the overall process, and define the inputs into and outputs out of it. This also ensures the people involved understand that it is an integral part and not a random activity being done for them by a partner as and when it is outsourced.

2. Obtain internal sign-offs for the approach

Nothing is a given, especially in an organisational context. You are always striving to do it better and better. Besides, organisational memory is short. While it may have been discussed and largely agreed, if it is an important decision, it is recommended that opportunity be created for a discussion on the subject amongst decision makers, followed by a formal agreement or sign-off.

As there should be a logical reason for every organisational step, so should there be one for outsourcing. This should result in the creation of documentation of reasons for outsourcing along with the benefits analysis which would be the stepping stone to the consensus on the decision to outsource online media moderation.

As a corollary of the agreement, the responsibility structure for the ensuing phases, along with a project lead, would ideally also be identified, so that it becomes an approved activity being handled by defined resources, instead of senior leadership having to be involved again and again.

3. Detail the requirements

With responsibility now identified, detailing the requirements and expectations, to the level possible and reasonable, will benefit the ongoing journey and discovery process. Often, outsourcing deals run into trouble because the outsourcer has not put enough thought and detail into the activity and assumed that by hiring a professional service provider, the organisation will be doing enough to protect their interest.

As with all other engagements between contracting parties, the greater the clarity in terms of requirement and expectation, the greater the chance of success. This detailing will also help in setting the right expectations with potential vendors interested in the contract and ensure genuine, serious bidders only apply. A recommended checklist of items that this phase should cover:

  • Objective of outsourcing
  • Details of the process
  • Types of online media to be moderated
  • User profile
  • Defining rules
  • Domain knowledge requirement
  • Quality standards
  • Timelines
  • Volume

 

4. Define vendor selection criteria

A recommended list of capabilities and attributes to look for in a partner:

Prior experience with online media moderation solutions

Will help your project get off the ground fast, and save on resources at the initial stage of implementation and transition which takes a lot of investment and time.

With several online media moderation projects handled for global clients, oWorkers can enable you to get off to a quick start. Our 24×7 operations will keep you safe all the time.

Consistently high quality of work

Is self-explanatory. This is what we want and why you initiated the process to outsource online media moderation. Will be even more powerful if combined with quality being in the same line of work. Even if not, demonstrating good quality is a healthy sign of commitment to delivery.

Though each client has its own unique measure of performance evaluation, oWorkers data entry outsourcing company is proud of its track record of consistently providing over 99% accuracy levels.

Responsive and quick

With quality and pricing, one of the three key deliverables for any Operations team. The quicker the response, the lower the exposure for the organisation to malicious online content. Also provides greater satisfaction to consumers, who would not like their user generated content (UGC) to sit in a queue for long.

With SLAs driven by client requirements, with three global centers and 24×7 operation, oWorkers can deliver to your response time requirements when you order content moderation services.

Low attrition and modern manpower practices

To ensure that the key resource, manpower, is taken care of so that hiring is not more difficult than it needs to be and attrition is within acceptable range.

oWorkers works with employed staff and not freelancers. While this brings a greater responsibility, it enables us to build long-term relationships with our staff and provide career-paths for growth. Owing to our position as a preferred employer in all our communities, we have a steady stream of walk-in talent that keeps our hiring costs low. Our attrition is also best-in-class on account of our transparent employment practices.

Price that delivers value

Clearly, low is good, but in a B2B contract, where the price is likely a negotiated one, creating value from the contract should be the priority and not getting the lowest price.

Being the cheapest provider is not our objective, but being the most valuable provider is. That being said, we are the lowest in many cases because of our efficient operating model that enables us to pass on the savings to our clients.

Financial health

Permits investing in the relationship and helps avoid the vendor cutting corners in delivery which has a harmful impact on the client in the long run. When you outsource online media moderation, an efficient operation that leads into a healthy financial position needs to be validated, not just at the start but on an ongoing basis, perhaps once a year.

oWorkers has been a consistently profitable enterprise. It is registered as a local enterprise in each of its geographies and pays local taxes as well as social taxes for its employees.

Multilingual delivery

Whether your organisation is global, or aspires to be, a vendor offering multilingual capability is a plus, especially in online media moderation solutions where interaction on your web properties can originate in any language from anywhere in the world.

oWorkers already supports over 22 major languages, and the list keeps growing.

Technology and Data Security

While the final solution may rest with a human being, it can also be expensive and slow. Automated, AI driven solutions, are becoming a necessity for handling online media moderation services. Access to cutting-edge technology solutions that can handle a bulk of the workload can be helpful in negotiating large volumes.

A related aspect is data security, since most data is now exchanged and used digitally. The vendor should have reliable processes and systems for securing clients’ data.

With its partnerships with leading technology solutions providers, oWorkers makes available to you the best technologies for your requirements and implements the latest in security practices and protocols for ensuring security of client data. oWorkers is ISO (27001 and 9001) certified and GDPR compliant, operating as it does from the Eurozone.

Hiring to meet peaks

Every business has peaks and troughs. One could either retain resources for peak requirements through the year or hire short-term to meet peak. The second is obviously preferred as it limits cost exposure. Vendors with the ability to provide resources for short-term requirements should be given preference.

oWorkers offers ramping up and down by a hundred headcount in 48 hours. This is made possible by our deep connects with the communities we operate in.

5. Ensure your requirement is known to relevant parties

Once you are clear on your requirements, the only thing that stops you from getting online media moderation services is the provider, who is yet to be identified and selected.

To initiate the process, you should ensure that your requirement is made known widely enough and in a manner such that capable providers come to know of it and become interested in the job on offer as that will induce them to make competitive bids.

In many cases, it eventually boils down to one of the following channels to communicate the message:

  • Issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP), generally preferred by large enterprises. An RFP is a standardised proposal form where you specify the information you seek.
  • Direct contact through databases like Yellow Pages and web search.
  • Direct outreach to providers who you know provide similar services to competitors.
  • Advertising in trade circles, if you are a part of them.

6. Eliminate and prune the list

Once the earlier step is done effectively, you should have received interest from vendors, review submissions based on criteria set out, and begin. A B2B partnership needs to be carefully navigated and negotiated, hence it is recommended that you go into greater detail with a few rather than less detail with many, hence an initial rejection step may be needed.

Of course, if you don’t have responses, you would need to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out the reasons. Were your requirements not clear? Were your terms too stringent? You may need to do one more round of interest solicitation, delaying the process.

7. Detailed review and analysis

Detailed discussions will now happen and both parties will be required to share information. In most B2B cases, this will be preceded by the execution of an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) which binds both parties to treating the information received as confidential and enjoins them to ensure it is handled with the utmost care. This is the stage where the potential vendor will make a case for being selected, scope of services will be discussed, including indicative pricing. Detailed discussions, site visits, interacting with staff members, exploring combinations, negotiating on price and service levels, all take place at this stage.

8. Finalise and contract

Eventually you will decide on the most suitable partner and issue a Letter of Intent. Contractual terms, which would have been already discussed during the previous stage, would now be formalised. The other shortlisted vendors will be retained as backups if this partnership falls through for some reason.

The formal agreement is executed based on mutually acceptable terms and conditions.

9. Implement and Transition

Implementation of the Project Plan, that would have been agreed during the commercial negotiations, is now kicked off, leading to the eventual transition and stabilization of the process with the vendor.

Initiation of a Trial Run, if agreed upon, will happen at this stage, with success criteria and actions following achievement or non-achievement, clearly defined.

All other dependencies, like identification by the vendor of the team that will support activities under this contract, outsourcer arranging the initial training, technical handshakes required, hiring of staff, finding the physical space for the new team, will be handled as per the Project Plan.

10. Begin work, test and stabilize

This is when the work starts. If volumes are large, there is a ramp-up generally provided for in the Project Plan. Staring slowly, the work ramps up to handle the agreed volumes till the time we reach what is called the BAU (Business as Usual) stage, the stable, predictable phase of the journey, is reached which will continue to work towards achievement of your organisational goals as envisioned when the seed was planted to outsource online media moderation.

10 Steps to Outsource Video Annotation

10 Steps to Outsource Video Annotation

10 Steps to Outsource Video Annotation

Video Annotation – An Overview

An annotation, according to collinsdictionary.com, is a note that is added to a text or diagram, often in order to explain it.

An answer on Quora defines video annotation as ‘…the process of adding tags and labels to the video clips. It is used to help the computer vision-based models easily detect and identify the objects.’

Video annotation, in other, simple terms, is the process of adding on information to a video which would enable a software or computer to understand the data that a video represents.

Video is a complex set of data that contains information in many forms. From a contextual understanding of all of them together, a human being, through her intelligence, makes sense of this data. In its raw form, however, a machine is unable to make sense of it like a human being would. If we have to make it meaningful for a computer to understand, we have to enrich the information in the raw video data with annotations, or tags, so that it can be understood.

One way of looking at video as data is as a sequence of images, each a millisecond after the previous, creating a continuous motion to the naked eye, but identifiable as distinct images by a computer. The movement creates an added dimension to the data already contained in the image.

When we watch the recording of a football game, a human being intuitively understands that players wearing shirts of the same color constitute one team and players wearing shirts of a different color are the opposing team. However, for a computer, at the start, the shirt color is only raw data, and has no contextual reference. To enable it to understand this concept, an annotation has to be done that puts a name or a tag to the two different shirt colors so that a difference is created. Thereafter, through programming, the computer can be taught to treat the two colors as two different entities. Again, taking a simple illustration, if it was a video game, the computer can be taught that shirts of one color shoot at the goal on one end of the park while the other color shoots at the other end. This is what video annotation solutions do for us.

Why is this needed?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are perhaps the most important reason why video annotation is needed. In ML, through annotated data, a computer is taught to make sense of a video. Once it has been fed enough data and provided enough training, it can operate independently. In other words, it will reach a point where for the next video that it is fed, based on the training it has received, it will be able to interpret it in the same manner. For example, if an AI program is being readied to identify armed intrusions, one of the trainings that might be given is to identify a gun and the various shapes and sizes it could come in. Once the training is complete, the AI program can issue alerts based on which guards can take action, instead of having to manually go through footage beamed by hundreds of live surveillance cameras.

oWorkers has been providing data and video annotation services to clients in a variety of industries like Autonomous Vehicles, Medical AI, Satellite & Aerial imagery, Sports, Retail, Augmented Reality, Insurance, CCTV & Security, Robotics and Agriculture. 

The 10 Steps to Outsource Video Annotation

In today’s day and age, outsourcing of video annotation services is almost a given. In fact, it is so much the norm that one may need to justify the case where one is NOT outsourcing rather than when one is.

Outlined here is a sequence of steps that, executed correctly will, hopefully, enable you to get the full benefit of video annotation and realise the purpose for which it was initiated. You must remember that equipping your vendor to do a good job is, eventually, in your own interest.

Identify Your Need

It is great that you think that the right thing to do is to outsource video annotation. Most of the world would agree with you.

But there is a much more basic question you should answer first. Do you have a need for video annotation solutions? In other words, why do you want video data to be annotated? What do you hope to achieve by doing so? Whether to do it inhouse or outsource it is, in a way, only a matter of detail once it has been established that there is a need for it in your business.

Of course, there are many smart vendors who will be able to tell you why video data should be annotated, because it is this business interest for more businesses to have this need. But they cannot answer on behalf of your business. Only you can. While vendors will willingly tell you how the video annotation process should be run and the benefits it will deliver, you should understand that the final ownership lies with you. Eventually it is an input into your business and needs to be driven by you and your business needs.

Will it solve a problem? Will it add value? What will be the criteria for success or failure?

Establish Selection Criteria

There are a host of factors that should be considered while evaluating potential partners, like technology capability, resourcing strength, multilingual coverage, financial stability, management support, etc.. All these parameters eventually manifest themselves, one way or another, in one of these three parameters in any delivery organisation, and hence should be accorded pride of place in the evaluation criteria:

Domain and function capability and the ability to deliver required quality and accuracy

oWorkers has been a preferred partner of choice for video annotation services for leading organisations, including several unicorn marketplaces, for over eight years. Many of our clients are referenceable. Through our three global delivery centers, we cater to over 22 global languages.

Ability to deliver the right quality within required timelines

With 24×7 operations, oWorkers is able to meet the most stringent timelines on client projects, in many cases delivering overnight. With clients from around the globe, we are also able to leverage time differences to expedite delivery.

Price point at which the capabilities are being made available and its reasonableness

oWorkers offers a choice of per unit or per hour pricing. Clients can choose. Our clients, especially from the US and Western Europe, have reported savings of 80% after outsourcing to oWorkers.

Put The Word Out, Invite Interest

Hopefully the first step has been taken, and it has been established that your business has a need for video annotation services. It has, perhaps, also been established at the same time that it is a time and resource consuming activity which you do not have the resources for. Hence, it has been agreed to outsource video annotation.

The next logical step is to start evaluating potential vendors. However, this does not happen automatically as we live in a world of information asymmetry. In other words, not everyone has access to all material information. Hence, at this stage, you need to ensure that your requirement is known reasonably well in the community from which will emerge the partner that will take over this task for you.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) process is a well-established process for B2B engagements. Whether you follow the RFP process or not, it is certainly recommended that you follow its discipline in some shape or form.

What this means is that you put the word out in such a way that you give out relevant information about the work that you seek to outsource, without divulging confidential information. You could provide information like:

  • Brief description
  • Volume of work
  • Timelines expected
  • Technology/ Tools to be used
  • Manpower qualifications

How does it help?

It helps you by limiting responses to genuine parties who have an interest in doing the work that is available. Without information, there could be a slew of applications on the basis of incorrect assumptions, that you will spend time in reviewing and eventually eliminating because the work is not what they thought it was.

Identify Top Few, or Restart Process

The previous step would, hopefully, have resulted in a reasonable number of responses for video annotation solutions to your RFP or advertisement or whichever method you adopted to get the word out regarding your requirement.

At this stage, you need to put yourself in a position from where you are able to get into detailed discussions with a few suppliers out of which you are able to select a partner.

If you have received a large number of applications, you might want to evaluate the submissions and select down to a few, say two or three, that seem most appropriate.

If you have received a handful, say two or three, that seem relevant, you can avoid the earlier step of evaluation and retain them for a detailed discussion later.

But if you have either not received responses or received responses that are not relevant for your work, then you would need to go back to the drawing board and examine why that was the case.

Did you not define your requirements accurately?

Did you put out expectations that were unreasonable?

Detailed discussion, Final Selection and Contract

This is an obvious next step. You will now be in a position to hold detailed discussions and both parties will be required to share information, ordinarily preceded by the signing of an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement). The vendors will tell you why they are the best to outsource video annotation to.

Specifics will be discussed at this stage, like pricing, like volumes, like other circumstances that could have an impact on the engagement.

Eventually it will lead to you identifying the most suitable partner and offering them a contract. However, at this stage, or even later, it will be wise to keep the other shortlisted parties interested in some way so that you have a Plan B if and when it may be needed. Selecting a vendor in a B2B relationship is a resource consumptive task. As it has downstream impact on the business that is selecting a partner, it is done carefully and deliberately. One does not want to be in a situation where the engagement breaks down soon after the process of selection has been completed, as it will mean going through it all over again. Hence keeping a second vendor warm is desirable.

The formal agreement is executed based on mutually acceptable terms and conditions.

Trial Run

If a Trial Run has been agreed this would be the time to initiate it. The contract would define the success criteria for this step and the rights of the client and vendor based on various outcomes possible.

If a vendor is not involved, a Trial Run is still a good idea before the organisation fully commits to it, hires resources, invests in technology, and everything else it entails. A sample of representative transactions would be carried out in this phase, enabling a further evaluation of the outcome and benefits, and enabling tweaking the process to enhance effectiveness, where required.

Developing and Implementing the Project Plan

Once it has been established that the organisation is ready to commit to it, a detailed Project Plan for the video annotation solutions will be developed, for both the outsourcer and the provider. This could also be done prior to commencement of the trial run.

The Project Plan will establish timelines for various tasks, define responsibilities, dependencies, checkpoints, controls mechanisms and other variables. In other words, what it means is that the work envisaged in the project is now being mainstreamed. The ‘Project Team’ or ‘Senior Management’ have shepherded the process so far, but henceforth will become a part of the responsibility of various teams based on the task and their role. Thus, the Project Plan defines ownership for various workstreams. Once this is activated, it is ‘all systems go.’

The Project Plan will take the initiative to the point of ‘steady state,’ the state where it should be operating hereafter, till forever, or till something happens that causes it to change, after having gone through a learning and improvement cycle earlier on.

Technology Readiness

When you outsource video annotation, once the Project Plan has been implemented and agreed, there will be various work streams that will be initiated. One of the key ones is technology. The vendor will need to ensure that the requisite technologies are available and ready to begin work for the new client. If client systems are needed, a handshake will be established.

Since we operate from the Eurozone, GDPR compliance is not a matter of choice. It is mandatory. We operate on secure technologies and protocols with ISO certifications (27001 :2013 & 9001:2015). We also offer physical segregation of workspaces where required.

Team Identification and Training

The other major workstream is ‘people.’ The vendor will need to identify the team that will support activities under this contract. Fresh resources will be hired as needed.

As subject matter experts, at this stage, are with the outsourcer, there will be an initial phase of ‘knowledge transfer’ or training during which the vendor staff will be made aware of the processing requirements.

Future training requirements, generally, are handled by the partner without the client staff having to go back to train more and more new hires.

oWorkers operates with employees, not outsourced staff or contractors. This provides it with the flexibility to deploy staff based on need. It has consistently been rated 4.6 and above out of 5 on Glassdoor by satisfied employees. It is deeply connected in the communities it operates in, pays social taxes for its employees and remains a desirable job for most people in the catchment area. With its deep connections, oWorkers gives you the flexibility to ramp up and down by 100 people in 48 hours, despite our strong screening processes based on Education, IQ, Language and Experience.

Ramp, Then Full Steam Ahead!

Eventually, the real work starts. In many cases, when you outsource video annotation, there is a gradual sequence of handling larger volumes each passing day and week as more resources become trained and available, and the vendor gets confidence in the new project. The work gradually ramps up to handle the agreed volumes over a period of time. This is also provided for in the contract and project plan in most cases.

Conclusion

oWorkers is a BPO services company with over eight years of experience and is led by a team with over twenty years of hands-on experience in the outsourcing industry. Being a pure player in data outsourcing services, Oworkers is in a position to provide comprehensive support to clients seeking to outsource video annotation. Our three global processing centers, in the most preferred regions of the world for outsourcing, can provide business continuity to your projects.

10 Steps to Outsource Polygon Annotation

10 Steps to Outsource Polygon Annotation

10 Steps to Outsource Polygon Annotation

Most of us understand what a polygon is.

According to byjus.com, “a polygon is a two-dimensional geometric figure that has a finite number of sides. The sides of a polygon are made of straight line segments connected to each other end to end. The line segments of a polygon are called sides or edges. The point where two line segments meet is called vertex or corners, henceforth an angle is formed. An example of a polygon is a triangle with three sides.”

 Annotation also should be a well understood word. Collinsdictionary.com defines annotation as “a note that is added to a text or diagram, often in order to explain it.”

However, polygon annotation, formed by bringing the two together, might not be as widely understood a term.

Polygon annotation is a technique for identifying an object or shape in a two-dimensional image which can be understood by a computer through ‘computer vision.’

Why is polygon annotation needed?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is the simple answer.

Much has been made of smart machines with AI taking over the world. Turns out machines are not really that smart. Smart humans are training machines to learn to see and think like them so that they can perform some of the tasks human beings have always done.

ML is the input provided to a computer to make it more intelligent. ML consists of large sets of data that are enriched in a way that a computer can ‘see’ it through computer vision, and learn about it. For a computer an image is just data; a random collection of pixels. A car in a picture is, again, just a collection of pixels. But when a human being draws a line around the car and the combined information is fed to the computer, it begins to understand that that particular shape is a car. This is repeated hundreds and millions of times enabling the software to start developing algorithms based on which it can identify the next image that is not marked by human hand.

Polygon annotation is one technique through which objects are marked out by drawing a tight polygon around them. Converting raw data into enriched data allows a machine to learn what humans intuitively know, and use the training to continue to apply the learned rules to future data that is unmarked.   

Polygon annotation solutions make this possible.

When you outsource polygon annotation, a sequence of activities is initiated that, done correctly, has the potential to deliver significant benefits in the form of reliable AI engines. Done incorrectly, it has the potential to unleash mayhem through an incompetent AI engine.

This makes the choice of partner an important decision, assuming outsourcing will be the preferred choice. However, what often gets overlooked is how the entire set of activities, starting from the need for polygon annotation services, through to the point when it starts running like a well-oiled machine, is conceptualised and set up. The selection of a partner is embedded within this sequence.

Outlined here is a recommended sequence that will guide you from the point where you have started thinking that you would like to contract a vendor, through to the end point where they have started delivering.

 

1. Establish the need for polygon annotation

An outsourcing vendor who provides polygon annotation services to your business, is like an extended part of your organisation, delivering a key component within your entire process or value chain. The process, or value chain, is yours, a detail which should not be forgotten in the focus on getting the most suitable vendor. The vendor is secondary to your process. Of primary importance is for you to establish the need for the process which, as a subsequent step, if it adds value, will be outsourced.

After all, you will not take on a vendor only because he is the best in the world for polygon annotation. You will take him on if your business has a need for polygon annotation and the vendor meets your criteria for selection, whether he is the best in the world or not.

Hence, first establish your business process. Does your business need Polygon annotation or Bounding Box annotation? Or is it Text annotation that will meet your requirements? Once your process has been established, figure out which parts it makes sense to outsource to the BPO company.

 

 2. Build internal consensus on strategy

Once the process has been established will come the need to decide on whether to outsource or do the process inhouse.

Even though it is common to seek outsourced support for polygon annotation solutions, it is still a decision that needs to be made by each outsourcer for themselves. It is an important decision. Outsourcing to a data annotation company is often considered when the process is voluminous, which means it is likely to be resource-hungry. The process is being done despite being resource-hungry because it has value for your company.

Whichever way we look, it is an important decision. A discussion on the subject will help in bringing consensus on the issue within your company. Moreover, many outsourcing arrangements end up being fractious because the outsourcer might have contracted the process out without either building agreement on the subject or without adequate deliberation on expectations from it.

This process of brainstorming and consultations should enable you to identify:

  • Reasons for seeking a partner; benefit articulation/ quantification
  • Key personnel (in your team) responsible for the engagement
  • Success and failure criteria

 

3. Get the word out

Once it is clear that outsourcing is the way forward, all efforts need to be made to ensure that your requirement of a partner for polygon annotation solutions be made known widely enough to have interested parties knocking on your door. Otherwise, having work on offer but no takers for it could be an embarrassing situation for a business. In a business situation, having potential vendors apply to you for workplaces you in a better negotiating position compared to when you are asking them to take up your work. You may want to leverage one of the many channels available to businesses, such as:

  • Letting it be known in the business networks and trade circles that you are a part of.
  • Using online directories and Internet search engines to unearth possible partners and communicating the message to them.
  • Issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) is the process preferred by large enterprises. An RFP is a standardised proposal form where you specify the information you are looking for.
  • Reaching out directly to vendors who may be providing similar services to competitors.

Whichever of the above, or combination, you choose, the process should involve a clear communication on your requirements like an overview of the project, description of the work required, data and file types, output expected, volumes, staff capability and profile requirements, timelines and any other relevant information. The purpose of this is to ensure that only genuinely interested parties apply and you don’t have to sift through large numbers who applied based on incorrect assumptions.

 

 4. Develop criteria for selection of vendor

A parallel exercise will be to draw up an evaluation process. In other words, a set of criteria that will be used to separate the grain from the chaff, and zero in on the partner you believe is most suitable for your polygon annotation solutions requirement.

If you have not created one for your, the following could be a great starting point for you:

Relevant prior experience

While absence of relevant prior experience may not necessarily be adequate to weed the vendor out, its presence will definitely deliver benefits. It would, for instance, facilitate a quick start to the project instead of a slow ramp. In addition, the requirement of client resources at the start will reduce.

Polygon annotation services have been delivered by oWorkers to several clients over their eight years of existence. The continuing and growing relationships are proof of our delivery capability. Many of our clients are referenceable.

Quality and accuracy

When you wish to outsource polygon annotation, superior quality and accuracy, provided consistently, will be the best advertisement for a vendor.

oWorkers follows a strict QA (Quality Assurance) and QC (Quality Control) process that is independent of the delivery process. The Quality team represents the client and seeks to eliminate errors and poor quality before the client’s processes are impacted. Our Quality team is also the eyes and ears of our senior management. We have consistently delivered over 98% accuracy.

Speed and turnaround

The sooner the partner can produce output, the faster your processes can run, and the more you can produce. Speed is an essential requirement.

With our three global centers and 24×7 operations, oWorkers is well placed to deliver rapidly. In most cases, oWorkers will turn around today’s work even before you begin work the next morning.

Pricing

When you outsource polygon annotation, or anything else, as long as it is commercial engagement between two parties, pricing will always be a part of the contract. In a B2B contract, generally it will be a unique basket that is purchased, for which the price will also be unique, and negotiated. Of course, lower will be better, except where it seems that it will not be sustainable for the vendor.

Our clients save upto 80% over their current costs when they outsource to us. We are able to offer a choice of per hour or per output unit pricing, with our transparent pricing mechanism.

Multi lingual

In the current context of globalisation and companies doing business around the world, an important consideration for global businesses as well as for ones with aspirations, is to take on a vendor who can support multiple popular languages.

Over 22 languages are supported across three global centers of oWorkers, positioning it uniquely to serve needs of companies, both global and local in any region.

Technology and Data Security

Along with Data Security, which is almost joined at the hip, Technology forms the backbone of every BPO business. In fact, technology is the reason for the existence of the BPO business in its present global shape.

When you outsource polygon annotation to oWorkers, we leverage the best technology for through our partnership with leading providers. We are also GDPR compliant and ISO (27001 and 9001) certified.

Scalability and access to human resources

Apart from technology, people is the other critical component that powers the BPO business, as most BPO processing is, by design, a human activity. If it could have been automated, it would have been. Key parameters, such as attrition and ability to hire for peaks and troughs, should be critically examined when you seek to outsource polygon annotation.

oWorkers possesses the flexibility to ramp up and ramp down, by a hundred headcount in 48 hours, particularly for Computer Vision projects. We work with employees, not contract staff or freelancers, which gives us flexibility in deployment. Our attrition can be considered as best-in-class and our employees consistently rank us 4.6/ 5 or better on Glassdoor.

Financial health and management support

Everything needs money. Financial stress of a company can rapidly percolate down to its operating units, impairing performance. Hence financial stability is an important consideration, as is compliance with legal requirements wherever it operates.

oWorkers has been a consistently profitable enterprise. It operates as a locally registered company in each of the three current locations, pays local and social taxes for its employees and is deeply rooted in the communities it operates in.

 

 5. Shortlist vendors

In the ideal world, we would like to do a detailed evaluation for each applicant for polygon annotation services. However, in the real world, this is not possible. We have to balance the effort with the reward from it. There could be frivolous applications, there could be incorrect or incomplete applications, there could be clearly unsuitable applications. One does not need to do a more detailed analysis to weed them out at this stage, as it will allow you to better focus on the relevant few than if you were to continue with all.

Based on the detailed checklist for evaluation, if you have a lot of applications, you should funnel down the list to a few that seem most suitable.

Of course, if you don’t get responses, or only a few unsuitable responses, you may need to go back to the drawing board and review your communication and the terms you have broadcast. Perhaps you have been unrealistic in your expectations and vendors did not find it worthwhile to apply.

 

6. Detailed discussion, evaluation and finalisation

This is when the detailed discussions will happen and both parties will be required to share information. In most B2B cases, this will be preceded by the execution of a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which binds both parties to treating the information received as confidential and enjoins them to ensure it is handled with the utmost care. This is the stage where the potential vendor will make a case for being selected, scope of services will be discussed, including indicative pricing. This is one of the key phases of the process.

Eventually you will decide on the most suitable partner and issue a Letter of Intent. This will be after detailed discussions, site visits, interacting with staff members, exploring combinations, negotiating on price and service levels. Contractual terms, which would have been already discussed during the previous stage, would now be formalised. The others interested and shortlisted vendors will be retained as backups if this partnership falls through for some reason.

 

7. Finalise terms and sign contract

The formal agreement to outsource polygon annotation is executed based on mutually acceptable terms and conditions that would have been discussed during the phase of detailed discussions.

Of course, there could be some cases of disagreement on the overarching legal clauses which may need to be sorted out between the legal teams or senior management. In most cases, once the operational details have been agreed, the legal terms will generally be ironed out.

 

8. Implementation of Project Plan

A high-level project plan would have already been discussed and agreed at the stage of detailed discussions and contracting. Once the contract is signed, the Project Plan or Implementation Plan is now detailed out to include all micro activities and tasks and responsibilities, so that the broad dates and milestones discussed earlier are met and the engagement reaches a point which is called ‘steady state’ or Business as Usual (BAU) by different businesses and handed over from the Project Team to the Operations team, to be handled, in a way of speaking, ‘from there to eternity.’

 

9. Technology, training, hiring and support

The Project Management team will give the go-ahead to the various vendor teams to include the new project in their support plans. This could include hiring. This could include identification of a physical workspace. This could involve identification of the trainers and QAs. This could involve initiating the process for a technical handshake with the client’s team.  

The client will arrange the initial training as well as make arrangements for the technical handshake from their side.

 

10. Begin work, test, ramp and then go full throttle

Work begins. If volumes are large, there is a ramp-up generally provided for in the Project Plan. Starting slowly, the work gradually ramps up to handle the agreed volumes, clearing milestones, meeting quality benchmarks., till it reaches the envisaged end state at which point the project team pulls back and lets the operational teams on the two sides take over the engagement.

Note: This is an indicative sequence of steps designed to enable you in achieving your goals when you seek to outsource polygon annotation. Not all steps will be needed in all cases. There could be additional steps in some other cases, like a Trial Run. Some projects may not need any technology integration. The exact sequence should be worked out based on your requirements.

10 Steps to Outsource Data Labelling

10 Steps to Outsource Data Labelling

 

What is data labelling?

Let us illustrate with an example.

A Special Intelligence Unit (SIU) of the armed forces of a particular nation has been given responsibility for handling counter-insurgency operations. The unit keeps tabs on various outfits suspected of carrying out insurgencies, and tracks their communications and movements to get advance warning about their intentions.

It started with monitoring their messages on mobile networks. As both sides became more sophisticated, operations expanded to cover monitoring voice communication, including live calls, their geographical position and propaganda videos circulated by the outfits. While the unit has been effective in controlling insurgency, the enhanced coverage has resulted in an expansion of the force consuming more and more public money, putting the government in a tight spot financially.

A leading software company has assured the government that they will develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine that will take over the task of monitoring, substantially reducing the need for manpower and cost. They have requested the SIU for historical data based on which they have been reaching conclusions regarding the insurgents and their activities.

After satisfying themselves regarding the security of the data, the force shared files with them containing:

  • Text messages intercepted

  • Phone calls intercepted and recorded

  • Geographical locations and change in them

  • Promotional videos

The software company looked at a sample of the content and returned it saying it was of no use to them as it was raw data. While humans, with their intelligence, could interpret that data and make sense out of it, a machine cannot.

Members of the SIU were called upon to identify elements in each piece of data based on which they constructed their theories based on which they could take action. For example, in the text messages, they identified the words, or phrases, that held clues. Similarly, in the phone call recordings, the elements they could identify that held clues. The same with the other sets of data.

Once these elements were identified and linkages established, the data was again handed over to the company for ingestion by the AI engine. This time it was data that the machine understood and could draw inferences from.

What was done by the special forces was ‘data labelling.’ As more and more data was acquired, they also trained the staff of the provider so that they could identify and label the relevant pieces of data themselves.

And the AI engine that could track insurgencies was born. Enabled and trained through ‘data labelling.’

oWorkers provides date labelling services to clients from around the world operating in a variety of industries and enables them to create smarter Artificial Intelligence engines. This could include placing electronic markings like bounding boxes on image files, putting marks on significant areas on faces, tagging pictures with keywords, and many others.

 

Why outsource data labelling?

Though we have come a long way, there are still occasions when an outsourcing decision, a logical, properly evaluated one that will add value to the business, needs to be justified, only because it is an ‘outsourcing’ decision.

Let us first answer the question, “why outsource?”

How is an outsourcing decision taken? It is not a given. It is a choice. Right? Through an evaluation process which analyses the different variables in the equation and tries to reach a decision likely to be the most beneficial, generally expressed in financial terms.

But these are standard business rules. How is this any different from any normal business decision?

Exactly.

Outsourcing is like any other engagement between two parties. These parties could be individuals, businesses, governments, or any competent body permitted to take decisions.

Many people send their children to school. Is that not a form of outsourcing? We are outsourcing our children’s education to an organization known as a school instead of doing it ourselves.

We buy food from stores. Is that not outsourcing our food supplies to others instead of producing ourselves?

An outsourcing contract will materialise only if there is interest and mutual benefit of the two parties to the contract. Exactly like any other contract between two businesses or human beings.

With this background on outsourcing, we can move forward to answer the question, “why outsource data labelling?”

Data labelling can be one of the more monotonous jobs anywhere. Looking at similar sets of data again and again, to identify the same elements. And it has to be done by humans.

Every organisation employs skill sets that are core to their work. A restaurant employs people to cook and to serve. An insurance company employs people like actuaries to evaluate risk on events that enable them to offer insurance policies. Besides, the employed people have perhaps been interested in that profession and undergone education and training to become suitable for employment.  

Data labelling services calls for a skillset quite distinct from the skillsets employed by the business that has this requirement; of staff who are experts in data labelling. Moreover, since it is a repetitive task for which training is mostly provided on-the-job, the services of these experts are reasonably priced. 

It is highly unlikely the business would like to deploy their cooks and actuaries to label the data that needs to be fed to their under-development AI engine. They will probably make a hash of it, while at the same time ignoring their core responsibility on which rests the success of their employer. The business is likely to prefer an outsourced service with cheaper labour and perhaps with tools and applications meant to facilitate the task while exercising process control?

This, then, in simple terms, is the case for outsourcing Data Labelling Services.

Of course, at the start of any exercise, experts in the particular field, cooks or actuaries, may be required to ‘show the way’ and train the resources who are going to be doing the major part of the exercise.

To summarise, the following are the main reasons why many organisations find it preferable to outsource data labelling:

  • Enables them to focus on core activities of the business

  • Allows specialised attention to be given to the task by specialists, reducing errors and enhancing efficiency of the process

And even more preferable to leverage data labelling solutions offered by oWorkers, across industry segments like Autonomous Vehicles, Medical AI, Satellite & Aerial imagery, Sports, Retail, Augmented Reality, Insurance, CCTV & Security, Robotics, Agriculture and several others. 

 

 

The 10 steps to success when you outsource data labelling

Selecting the right vendor is often the focus of effort for most outsourcers, but there is a lot more that needs to be done, both before and after the vendor is identified. Without adequate attention to each of these steps, the end result could be sub-optimal. As an outsourcer, you wouldn’t want that to happen.

Outlined here is a recommended process that will guide you from the point where you have started thinking that you would like to data labelling solutions, through to the end point where the vendor has started delivering.

 

1. Identify Requirement

Many business deals do not succeed because the client (buyer) is not clear on the requirements. What are they buying? Why are they buying? What problem will it solve? What value will it add? Identification of your need is a good starting point to outsource data labelling. Additionally, some clarity on success (or failure) criteria will be even better. A recommended checklist of items that this phase should cover:

  • Objective of outsourcing

  • Type/s of data

  • File formats

  • Annotations required

  • Defining rules

  • Domain knowledge requirement

  • Timelines

  • Volume

 

2. Advertise requirement/ Seek participation

Once it is clear that you would like to consider outsourcing as an option, you would need to make known to the prospective vendor community about it, with information from relevant items of the checklist created in the earlier phase. This can be done in many different ways:

  • Issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) is the process preferred by large enterprises. An RFP is a standardised proposal form where you specify the information you seek.

  • Reaching out directly to vendors who may be providing similar services to competitors.

  • Advertising in trade circles, if you are a part of them.

  • Look up prospective vendors online or through directories like Yellow Pages and inform them one by one of your requirement. They will respond if interested.

 

3. Shortlist vendors

By now you would have hopefully received some interest from prospective vendors. If you have been flooded with responses, at this stage, based on information received, you should shortlist down to a few, perhaps two or three, with whom you can engage in a more detailed manner. A B2B engagement is a time-consuming affair. The larger the shortlist the more of your time it will require. If responses are inadequate or absent, you may need to review the terms and conditions you have set out. Perhaps they are too strict for vendors to be interested in.

 

4. Detailed discussion and evaluation

This is where the detailed discussions will happen and both parties will be required to share information. In most B2B cases, this will be preceded by the execution of a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which binds both parties to treating the information received as confidential and enjoins them to ensure it is handled with the utmost care. This is the stage where the potential vendor will make a case for being selected, scope of services will be discussed, including indicative pricing. This is one of the key phases of the process.

A recommended list of capabilities and attributes to look for in a partner:

Prior experience

Facilitates a quick start instead of a slow ramp-up.

Over the last 8 years, oWorkers has successfully executed several data annotation projects for global clients. oWorkers provides proficiency in a wide variety of annotations, like Bounding boxes annotation, Keypoints annotation, Polygons annotation, 3D cuboids annotation, LIDAR segmentation, Text categorization, Linked entities recognition, Grammatical & discourse analysis, Review & sentiment analysis, Moving bounding boxes and Objects tracking (SOT,MOT).

Quality and accuracy

Consistently providing superior quality and accuracy is the best way to advertise your capability. Testimonials from existing clients are also helpful.

With QA (Quality Assurance) and QC (Quality Control) processes that represent the client and aim to detect and resolve errors, oWorkers consistently delivers over 98% accuracy. It leverages bast in class technologies in this effort.

Speed and turnaround

In a fast-paced world, speed is of the essence. The sooner the AI engine can ingest requisite data, the faster it can be brought to market.

In most cases, oWorkers will turn around today’s work even before you begin work the next morning.

Pricing

In any commercial engagement, this is a given. One party deliver goods or services, and the other pays a price for it in money terms. In a B2B, the basket of services and products provided is unique to the engagement, as is the price for it. While low is desirable, the outsourcer needs to ensure that the pricing terms offered will add value to their business instead of opting for the lowest number.

Our existing clients save upto 80% when they use our data labelling solutions. The same opportunity is available to all. Our pricing is transparent, with a choice of per hour or per output unit pricing.

Multi lingual

This is an important consideration for global businesses as well as for ones with aspirations, instead of having to take on a vendor for every new language.

Supporting over 22 languages across three global centers, oWorkers is uniquely positioned when you look for partners to outsource data labelling.

Technology and Data Security

Technology forms the backbone of every business. Along with data security. Data labelling services are themselves an input to Artificial Intelligence, a developing technology. Harnessing the right technologies is an important consideration for success.

ISO (27001 and 9001) certified, oWorkers leverages the best technology for data labelling solutions through its partnership with leading providers.

Scalability and access to human resources

Since BPO processing is a human activity, suitable resources, at the right price, in adequate numbers, should be available to the partner to enable them to carry out this task. Also enables business calling up and down as per requirement.

oWorkers possesses the flexibility to ramp up and ramp down, by a hundred headcount in 48 hours, particularly for Computer Vision projects.

Financial health and management support

Thought not relevant for operational delivery, these factors are important for ensuring consistency. Financial headwinds for the partner could lead to cutting corners in all projects.

oWorkers has been a consistently profitable enterprise. It pays local and social taxes for its employees and is deeply rooted in the communities it operates in.

 

5. Shortlist down to 1

Eventually you will decide on the most suitable partner and issue a Letter of Intent. This will be after detailed discussions, site visits, interacting with staff members, exploring combinations, negotiating on price and service levels. Contractual terms, which would have been already discussed during the previous stage, would now be formalised. The others will be retained a backups if this partnership falls through for some reason.

 

6. Finalise terms and sign contract

The formal agreement is executed based on mutually acceptable terms and conditions.

 

7. Trial Run

Initiate a Trial Run if agreed upon. The contract terms would shed light on the success criteria for this step and logical next steps based on various outcomes possible.

 

8. Implementation Project Plan

If this has not been done at the contracting stage, the parties will develop and agree on an Implementation Plan which defines the steps each of them must take to reach a steady state. In other words, reach a point at which the activities envisaged in the contract are running at the expected level. The timelines are also defined in the Implementation Plan.

 

9. Team identification, training and ramp support

The vendor will need to identify the team that will support activities under this contract while the outsourcer will arrange the initial training. Vendor support teams will start playing their regular roles for this project as well. Technical handshakes required will also be made.

 

10. Begin work, test and then go full steam

Work begins. If volumes are large, there is a ramp-up generally provided for in the Project Plan. Staring slowly, the work gradually ramps up to handle the agreed volumes.

Note: This is an indicative sequence of steps and not mandatory. Not all steps will be needed in all cases. In some cases, the sequence could also change, like a Trial Run could happen before a contract is signed.

 

Conclusion

oWorkers, as a pure-play data entry BPO company, has a unique position in the industry, and has been ranked in the Top 3 globally for data entry services. The solutions it offers are scalable, offering flexibility to ramp by 100 resources in 48 hours, a demonstration of their deep connect with the communities they work in. Its resources are employees, not contractors.

Our carefully selected and trained staff, are equipped to handle data labelling services for a variety of uses like Sentiment Analysis, Named Entity Recognition, Geo Labelling, etc. With support for 22+ languages, ISO 27001:2013 and 9001:2015 certifications, 24×7 operations and centers in Europe and Africa, oWorkers should be your first choice to outsource data labelling.